Using the <I-N-C-A> Constraint Model as a Shared Representation of Intentions for Emergency Response
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The aim of this paper is to describe the I-X system with its underlying representation: <I-N-C-A>. The latter can be seen as a description of an agent’s intentions, which can be shared and communicated amongst multiple I-X agents to coordinate activities in an emergency response scenario. In general, an <I-N-C-A> object describes the product of a synthesis task. In the multi-agent context it can be used to describe the intentions of an agent, although it also includes elements of beliefs about the world and goals to be achieved, thus showing a close relationship with the BDI agent model which we will explore in this paper. From a user’s perspective, I-X Process Panels can be used as an intelligent to-do list that assists emergency responders in applying pre-defined standard operating procedures in different types of emergencies. In particular, multiple instances of the I-X Process Panels can be used as a distributed system to coordinate the efforts of independent emergency responders as well as responders within the same organization. Furthermore, it can be used as an agent wrapper for other software systems such as webservices to integrate these into the emergency response team as virtual members. At the heart of I-X is a Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) planner that can be used to synthesize courses of action automatically or explore alternative options manually.